University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Post-Doc in Modelling of Primary School Segregation at UvA, Netherlands, May 2022

The Netherlands

The Computational Science Lab (CSL) at the Faculty of Science, Urban Geography at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Institute for Advanced Study is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to work on the COMPASS project.

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General Info

Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: January 2023
Contract Period: 2 Years
Salary: €2,846 to €4,490 gross per month

Computational Science Lab, Faculty of Science

University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands


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Qualification Details

Your experience and profile:

  • A PhD degree in Computer Science, in Quantitative Social Sciences (Sociology, Geography), Computational Science, Data Science, Statistics, or other relevant discipline;
  • some programming experience, for example in Python, R, SPSS;
  • good statistical skills and knowledge of social/ demographic data;
  • a proactive, independent mindset and a team player;
  • strong communication skills and excellent command of English, Dutch is helpful but not required;
  • affinity with social theory/ social science is also a comparative advantage;
  • commitment to open science, reproducibility, open source, and the FAIR principles.

Responsibilities/Job Description

Job Description

You will be primarily based at the Computational Science Lab, part of the Institute of Informatics (IvI), and affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study and Urban Geography all at the University of Amsterdam. You will be employed at SoDa Utrecht until the end of 2022 and then officially start working at the UvA informatics Institute from Jan 2023 – Dec 2024. However, the expectation is that you will able to collaborate with both teams during the full period.

You will be supervised by Dr. Willem Boterman, associate professor of Urban Geography and, and Dr. Mike Lees, associate professor at the Informatics Institute. At Utrecht you will be supervised by assistant professors Dr. Erik-Jan van Kesteren and  Dr. Javier Garcia-Bernardo. You will be working with multidisciplinary teams of computational scientists and sociologists in close collaboration with policy makers at the Inspectorate for education and the municipality of Amsterdam.

Your primary task will be to examine and develop new multi-dimensional measures of segregation to facilitate development of the computational model. In order to best model parental choice, and in particular understand how many different forms of choice there are, we need as much information about the ‘type’ of parent as possible. We need to establish the right groups of agents/ parents and understand exactly when groups of parents have the same (or similar) choice preference (or even mechanism) and when they don’t.

To measure segregation, we will utilise both standard indicators (Exposure index; Dissimilarity Index) and compositional measures (Theil’s information index) to establish which proportions of school segregation are caused at which scales (between municipalities within urban regions; within municipalities; within neighbourhoods).

As part of the SoDa team at Utrecht you will work on various related projects, the exact focus of these smaller projects will depend on the available projects and the expertise and interest of the postdoc, but the projects will involve the use of administrative data (i.e. micro-data from the Central Bureau of Statistics). For example, one potential project involves predicting COVID-19 outbreaks in schools using the family and school networks of Dutch residents. Another involves modelling the evolution of social trust or segregation in such networks.


  • Conducting independent research in Computational Social Science, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals and/or books;
  • actively contributing to and developing national and international research networks and other forms of cooperation;
  • developing, coordinating and teaching courses in both Dutch and English, in the bachelor and master programmes;
  • supervising Bachelor and Master theses and tutoring students; co-supervising PhD theses;
  • actively contributing to the development and improvement of the broader teaching programmes in the department;
  • taking part in committees and working groups and carrying out departmental administrative tasks as directed.

An example of your tasks in the SoDa team:

  • Analyse Central Bureau of Statistics microdata and public data regarding school choice;
  • investigate clustering approaches to identify classes of parents;
  • help development/design of agent-based model;
  • consider and develop parental surveys;
  • help with part of project management (e.g., co-organising meetings with stakeholders);
  • regularly present and demonstrate intermediate results.

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: 8738

Application Procedure

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 7 May 2022.

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):

  • a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • a list of publications;
  • the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation.

Please use the CV field to upload your resume as a separate pdf document. Use the Cover Letter field to upload the other requested documents, including the motivation letter, as one single pdf file.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The interviews will be held in the course of May 2022.

About the Department

This position is an opportunity to do cutting-edge research in Computational Social Science while at the same time contributing to a young data science team, get involved in a wide range of interesting research projects throughout the country, and to provide a meaningful contribution to computational social science research in the Netherlands.

The COMPASS project

The issue of segregation in education can be (and has been) examined from both the individual level (e.g., parent surveys, choice analysis, etc.) or from macro-level statistics (e.g., changes in segregation level, region, city or national level).  The COMPASS project aims to uncover the dynamics of school choice and resulting patterns of school segregation by assuming a multi-dimensional approach to segregation.

The SoDa team

The ODISSEI Social Data Science (SoDa) team exists to support social scientists in research projects that involve a strong data analysis component. The team consists of a small group of researchers and research engineers. We collaborate on a variety of computational social science projects, proposed by researchers from ODISSEI member organisations. We use our computational, statistical, and research engineering skills to answer questions that would otherwise remain unanswered.

About the Employer:


The position concerns two contracts for temporary employment of 38 hours per week. The contract at SoDa is until 31 December 2022 and the contract at the University of Amsterdam is for the period of 1 January 2023 until 31 December 2024. The position is funded by the Computational Science Lab of the University of Amsterdam, where you will be appointed with a Postdoctoral Researcher 4 profile.

Your salary will be €2,846 to €4,490 gross per month (scale 10), based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

During your contract at UvA we have multiple fringe benefits to offer besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • a complete educational program for PhD students;
  • multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • partly paid parental leave;
  • the possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

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Contact details

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

  • Dr. Mike Lees, ssociate professor at the Informatics Institute
  • Dr. Willem Boterman, associate professor of Urban Geography

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